“Filthy” Tom Lawlor is a very funny guy, but in no way is he a joke. The hilarious former TUF 8 competitor (you may remember him as the guy who knocked out his housemate on a dare.) is a seasoned veteran, an elite wrestler, and is known among UFC fans as “The King of The Walk-out”. After a 2 year hiatus from competitive fighting due to nagging injuries, the 3-time NCWA National Champion (Lawlor is also in the NCWA Hall of Fame, Circle of Champions) is finally healthy. Now competing at his natural weight, Lawlor is poised to make a comeback and ready to make some noise in the UFC’s Light Heavyweight division. Though Lawlor’s professional record may not be impeccable (9-5-1), his last two losses were hard fought. Lawlor was defeated by Champion Chris Weidman and Francis Carmont. In the fight vs. Carmont, Lawlor was the victim of an extremely controversial split decision. Lawlor was relentless with takedown attempts and was the aggressor throughout all three rounds but ultimately recorded the loss.
Lawlor will be facing 15th ranked Gian Villante on Saturday, July 25th at UFC on Fox 16. I recently talked with “Filthy Tom Lawlor about his much anticipated return to the UFC and what he’s been up to since we’ve last seen him in the Octagon.
(Chris Fetter): How are you today, Mr. Tom Lawlor?
(Tom Lawlor): I just spent 1 hour in a small pod doing a brain scan for a Combat Sports study. I’m not sure if I’m going to end up with super powers like I hope, but I’m doing fine.
It’s been a while since we last saw you step into the UFC cage, any reason behind your two-year long hiatus?
I unfortunately suffered an ACL/MCL/meniscus tear in my last fight 2+ years ago. I’ve had a few setbacks in training getting healthy but that is all behind me and I’m ready to get back in the cage on Saturday.
You recently traveled to Hawaii to work with some of our US troops, what was that experience like for you?
Awesome! I’ve been fortunate enough to work with several different groups and travel the world to visit our troops. It is always a super rewarding experience, and being in Hawaii during the summer isn’t exactly a bad deal.
As we speak, you are entering the final weeks of your camp. Where are you training and how’s camp going so far?
I live in Las Vegas and train at Syndicate MMA. Everything is great.
For your upcoming bout, you have made the jump up to the Light Heavyweight division; you have stated in the past how much you dreaded making large weight cuts to make 185. Do you feel more confident at a more natural weight?
I feel a lot better at this weight and the last few months have been a lot more enjoyable than it has been in the past due to a myriad of factors but the lack of cutting a boatload of weight is a major factor.
Fans of the UFC know you as “Filthy” Tom Lawlor. How did this nickname come about?
Like most good nick names, someone gave it to me. It worked, it stuck, and here I am 8 years later with it still attached to me.
Are you the filthiest fighter in the UFC?
Depends. Biggest scumbag? Definitely not. Most unkempt? Possibly.
Recently, I shaved my facial hair into “mud flaps” to get your attention on Twitter for an interview, a style you are familiar with; would you agree mud flaps are the manliest of all facial hair? Or does the mustache take the crown?
Mudflaps? I’ve never had mudflaps on my face. They have been referred to as mutton chops, but never mudflaps. And neither the mustache, mutton chops, or mudflaps are the manliest. That crown belongs to whatever style you would call Teen Wolf’s facial hair.
You are regarded as the greatest wrestler in The University of Central-Florida’s NCWA history. As a current Central Florida resident, I’m curious to know, what do you miss most about Orlando?
Beth’s Burgers and Gringos Locos in Downtown Orlando.
Wrestling has always been your bread and butter. What aspects of your fight game have you developed the most since your last professional fight?
Probably my hair. That’s the biggest improvement.
At UFC on Fox 16 you will be facing 15th ranked Gian Villante, who is coming off an impressive “Fight Of The Night” performance last April. What’s your strategy against a guy known for his striking power?
I’m going to hit him in the face a lot more than he hits me and wear him down within 2 rounds. Simple really, but quite effective.
You’re definitely a fan favorite; is it safe to say we will see you compete in the UFC again soon?
As long as my body holds up and I can compete at a high level, of course.
How much planning usually goes into a Tom Lawlor walkout?
Usually about 3 hours total. 1 hour to come up with an idea, 1 hour to find a costume, 1 hour to rehearse. Usually all done during fight week.
Are you a fan of the new UFC Rebook uniform, or would you say they “cramp your style”?
Cramps my style. But I haven’t actually worn or seen them in person so my mind may change. I like some of the fighter t-shirts they have put out, but the biggest issue to me is the lack of individuality it provides the fighters.
Final question, before the speed round!
You’ve been a pro wrestler, managed a tag team wrestling team, and you also co-host the FRB podcast regularly. Any future endeavors you can tell us about, outside of the UFC?
I also co-host a show on, and am a contributor to, f4wonline.com/wrestlingobserver.com with Bryan Alvarez and Dave Meltzer. Hopefully I have lots of future things to tell you about, but right now I am pretty focused on this fight.
”Ride”-Lana Del Rey
Best movie of all time?
Hulk Hogan or Stone Cold?
Hot dog or hamburger?
NFL or NBA?
Canadian Football League
Chuck Norris or Steven Segal?
Knockout or submission?
Submission that renders the opponent unconscious
Who will you fight at UFC 200?
The motto Tom Lawlor lives by is?
“You get out there, and you FIND THAT F*CKING DOG!”
What’s the Best wrestling move of all time?
The Everest German Supplex